HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Continues To Grow After First Two Years Of New Campus

HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital-Highland President & CEO Peggy A. Sebastian
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When a child reaches his/her second birthday, some commonly refer to this time as going through the “terrible twos.”

That cannot be said about the new HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital (Highland) as patient volumes continue to grow for the second straight year – reinforcing hospital leadership’s vision first shared when the new facility project was made public.

“From the moment we announced that a new St. Joseph’s Hospital was going to be a reality more than four (4) years ago, we promised local residents that they would have access to a hospital campus providing advanced technologies in a state-of-the-art facility that they would be proud to call their own,” Peggy A. Sebastian, President & CEO, says. “The new St. Joseph’s Hospital was designed to emphasize healing and wellness with a focus on outpatient treatment and therapy – and that’s exactly what we’ve seen since moving in on Day 1.”

For example, since moving to the new St. Joseph’s Hospital campus in 2013:

• Inpatient admissions have increased 20%
• Outpatient registrations/procedures have grown by 19%
• Surgical procedures climbed 12%
• Emergency room visits have risen by 35%

“When the first two Hospital Sisters of The Third Order of St. Francis began their health care ministry here in Highland back in January 1878, they went from house-to-house revealing Christ’s healing presence to those who needed their care,” Sebastian states. “And from the first day of the very first St. Joseph’s Hospital facility opening on August 21, 1879, to now, Highland area residents have been coming to the Sisters’ ‘house’ for their health care needs. The new St. Joseph’s Hospital continues to be a shining example of the commitment that the Sisters’ have to local residents in continuing their health care mission.”

And just as “Year 1” had its share of highlights and successes, “Year 2” of the new St. Joseph’s Hospital saw new services, physicians and accomplishments showcasing efforts to secure its mission and remain the health care provider of choice for local residents.

St. Joseph’s Hospital continued to enhance its physician-related services by welcoming new doctors and introducing a new hospitalist program. The hospital continued to recruit physicians/clinical providers – either individually or by partnering with the HSHS Medical Group – with new additions to the hospital’s medical staff:

• Joshua Knolhoff, MD, general surgery (HSHS Medical Group)
• Meena Murugappan, MD, pulmonologist (HSHS Medical Group)
• Matthew Wilkinson, MD, pediatrics & internal medicine (HSHS Medical Group)
• Rebecca Merchiori, ANP, nurse practitioner (HSHS Medical Group)

Another physician-related investment made during “Year 2” was the addition of a Hospitalist Physician Service in September 2014. Partnering with the HSHS Medical Group to implement this new service, individuals admitted to the Inpatient Services Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital now have a dedicated physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By focusing their practice on the care of hospitalized patients, the hospitalist can gain a great insight in the unique aspects of a patient’s needs during their hospital stay.

In January 2015, St. Joseph’s Hospital had a “birth announcement” introducing support to local “moms-to-be” with their upcoming deliveries. The new “Maternity Onto Motherhood” women’s health service enhances care and prepares expectant mothers for the arrival of their newest bundle of joy. St. Joseph’s Hospital (Highland) partners with its sister hospital HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese in providing Highland area expectant mothers with quality care for mom and baby. All pre-natal visits are provided in Highland with an option for delivery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese. Among the services that the new “Maternity Onto Motherhood” (MOM) program provides include lactation (breastfeeding) consulting, “Getting to Know Your Newborn” classes, and fetal non-stress testing.

In addition to offering new or enhanced clinical care services, St. Joseph’s Hospital was recognized for its high-quality Franciscan healing ministry by:

• receiving a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® award from The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. St. Joseph’s Hospital was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for Pneumonia and Surgical Care. St. Joseph’s Hospital is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the Top Performer distinction.
• being awarded “Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH)” designation by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Receiving this designation by the State of Illinois is validation to the importance that St. Joseph’s Hospital plays in delivering specialized emerging services to local residents. St. Joseph’s Hospital made the conscious decision to apply for this designation because it possesses the ideal mix of medical professionals, diagnostic capabilities, and treatment programs in place to provide emergency stroke care. St. Joseph’s Hospital is just one of the very few hospitals in the region that have a state-awarded stroke center designation.
• becoming one of only 251 hospitals nationwide to earn five stars (out of a possible 5 stars) in a new rating system coordinated by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS created the Star Ratings in order to enable consumers to more quickly and easily assess the hospital patient experience of care information that is provided on its Hospital Compare Web site. St. Joseph’s Hospital received a higher score than 25 metro St. Louis-area hospitals located on both sides of the Mississippi River.
• recognition as a leader in health care environmentally preferable practices for the sixth consecutive year with the “Greenhealth Partner for Change” Award presented by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. The Award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

“We must always continue to improve and introduce new services,” Sebastian says. “Having a new hospital facility gives us the ability to do more – and introduce new amenities – now and in the future.”